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For those of you with highly verbal kids, how do you respond to sarcasm or rudeness?<br><br>
My dd is generally very polite, but sometimes it seems as though she's testing out how we'll react to sarcasm or passive-aggressive statements. Sometimes her words just blow me away, and I'm too surprised by what she's saying to really react to her tone, even if she's being rude. Sometimes I have trouble hiding my smile. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
One example is a recent conversation we had as we were headed out the door for preschool abou 10 minutes late.<br><br>
dd:"Can I have a drink before we go?"<br><br>
me:"(sigh) Yes... just remember we're late, so I'll get a sippy cup and we can bring it in the car. We don't have time for you to drink it at home."<br><br>
dd:"Well, I'm sorry for causing so much trouble."<br><br>
me:"(after realizing that I didn't hide my irritation well) Honey, I'm sorry if I seemed angry or annoyed. I'm not mad, I'm just feeling rushed. You're not causing trouble and I'm not saying you can't have a drink. I know it's no fun to be thirsty."<br><br>
dd: "(folding her arms and looking away) Yeah well it's no fun to still be waiting for that drink either!"<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
There are conversations like this that happen a few times a week. I've been thinking about the fact that if she were 6 or 7, I might be more quick to talk to her about her passive-aggressive statements and sarcasm. But I continue to be thrown off by her, and so I don't always address it when it happens.<br><br>
Anyone else dealing with something similar?
 

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Maybe it is just the example, but I don't really hear that as sarcastic from a 3.5 year old. I hear that as I'm more concerned about my own feelings right now - which is totally normal. In general I'd note for her when her tone needs work and try to adjust your expectations a bit. Oh and look for ways to give her control. I may be alone in this but I think a three year old shouldn't need to ask for a drink she can get it on her own. If pouring is an issue you can have prefilled cups at her level in the fridge. Having more control over this stuff can go a long way to addressing need to control other people in conversations.
 

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Asking unkindly isn't an acceptable way to get things in my home. Even at three, I'd be upset if my child spoke to me in such a manner. I am a person with feelings as well, and my children know this, and are learning to respect those feelings, just as I try to respect them.
 

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My nearly 3.5 year old has been throwing me attitude for some time now. I tend to be humbled by it because I remember the times I threw attitude at her. I get my words thrown right back at me.
 

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My soon to be 3 yo dd also amazes me with her charming and manipulative verbal skills. I've wondered where she gets this from.......and you know what? She gets it from me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> I'm sarcastic and have a quick wit. I very much appreciate her ability to craft her sentences to not only communicate her desires, but to also give it that added twist. It takes one to know one, kwim? I also know that it's not going to win her many allies. I also know that I'm perpetuating this behavior. I'm making a mental note to watch my p's and q's.<br><br>
It sounds like your dd is not only very verbally adept, but also a great observer. I'd watch very carefully what and how you are communicating to everyone around you and how others are communicating in your dd's presence. She's probably picking this up from someone. I'm not saying it's you, but kids do learn from those around them.<br><br>
But you know, I giggled when I read your post, kamilla! I don't know what it is, but I adore kids like this. They infuriate me at times, but gosh do I love verbal banter!
 

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I'm with Laura; I enjoy the verbal banter, too. I am pretty sure my children are sarcastic because we all are in my family. Rudeness I don't love, but I guess I don't interpret all of that "stuff" to be rude a lot of the time...For example, at Thanksgiving (so, dd was 2 years 8 months) I brought her plate of food to the table and then sat down to eat mine. The minute my butt-cheeks brushed my seat and she realized I was about to settle down and enjoy a meal, she piped up in her baby-squeaky, but teenage-sarcastic voice: <i>Um, Mom, do you see a drink next to my plate? I don't.</i> I just had to laugh. She was not trying to be ruse; she was trying out a way of communicating. My daughter's personality is sweet and social, so I am not concerned that by "enjoying" these comments here and there, I will create a bad habit in her. If, on the other hand, I was concerned that she is becoming a rude kid overall, I'd probably feel differently.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>teachma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7942113"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My daughter's personality is sweet and social, so I am not concerned that by "enjoying" these comments here and there, I will create a bad habit in her. If, on the other hand, I was concerned that she is becoming a rude kid overall, I'd probably feel differently.</div>
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I guess I'm not going to worry about it to much then either. Dh and I are both sarcastic, so I know she's picking it up mostly from us.<br><br>
Sometimes I just feel guilty that I'm not working harder to curb that behavior, but as long as she's generally a polite person and she's just testing out different ways to interact with people, I'll let myself enjoy it a little.<br><br>
Just a little while ago she told me, "There's one thing that I really, really, really want for my birthday, Mom. I want you not to be so cheap!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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My 2 year old is also very verbal and blows us away like you mentioned as well. We attempt to hide our smiles and surprise as much as possible (almost all rude things are somewhat cute coming from a 2 year old) and redirect her words/statement into a less rude/condescending one. Even thought it may be funny now or that she doesn't realize that what she says is rude I realize that I am helping her to lay the foundation of how she will talk to others.<br><br>
If she says "move! you're blocking the road!" to someone in her way. I tell her, "If someone is in your way you can say "excuse me, please I need to go by."<br><br>
or just this weekend:<br><br>
My daughter was looking for a toy. I mentioned that she had left it in the car. "Well, then go get it then." Said in a very demeaning way with hands on hips. Unfortunately all the adults bust up laughing but we still redirected her to say "can you go get my toy please".<br><br>
My daughter is a parrot though so she will retort back what you ask her to. I know some children are really resistant to that.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>thehappyhippo</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7955390"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We attempt to hide our smiles and surprise as much as possible (almost all rude things are somewhat cute coming from a 2 year old) and redirect her words/statement into a less rude/condescending one. Even thought it may be funny now or that she doesn't realize that what she says is rude I realize that I am helping her to lay the foundation of how she will talk to others.</div>
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That's the truth. I've taught at schools where kids are obviously coming from homes where their precociously demanding speech is regarded as "cute" instead of totally insensitive and/or rude. What's clever to the parents is almost never cute to others, when it comes to rude tone or words. Sarcasm is a very hostile and indirect method of communication. I think emotional intelligence is as important as verbal acuity. I've never accepted words that were rude or demanding or sarcastic from a child - if I wouldn't like my husband or other adult saying it. We usually say, "Hmm, I don't understand you when you speak to me like that. Can you ask me for what you want directly in a clear tone?"<br><br>
It's understandable that children will try out the language, but preschool years are prime learning time when it comes to social skills. By six or seven, there's going to be a lot of unlearning to do. Same with the whining or other highly annoying behaviors.<br><br>
I think a lot comes from TV and movies - the children are always wiser than parents/adults and have the best one-liners, to great applause and laughter. I grew up in a highly sarcastic home, watching too many sitcoms, and it's taken me a long time to unlearn much of it. I still struggle, and it didn't do me any favors in school, especially. You get used to being the funny sarcastic one at home, and then in school you get to be the funny sarcastic one...in detention!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>flyingspaghettimama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7960946"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That's the truth. I've taught at schools where kids are obviously coming from homes where their precociously demanding speech is regarded as "cute" instead of totally insensitive and/or rude. What's clever to the parents is almost never cute to others, when it comes to rude tone or words. Sarcasm is a very hostile and indirect method of communication. I think emotional intelligence is as important as verbal acuity. I've never accepted words that were rude or demanding or sarcastic from a child - if I wouldn't like my husband or other adult saying it. We usually say, "Hmm, I don't understand you when you speak to me like that. Can you ask me for what you want directly in a clear tone?"<br><br>
It's understandable that children will try out the language, but preschool years are prime learning time when it comes to social skills. By six or seven, there's going to be a lot of unlearning to do. Same with the whining or other highly annoying behaviors.<br><br>
I think a lot comes from TV and movies - the children are always wiser than parents/adults and have the best one-liners, to great applause and laughter. I grew up in a highly sarcastic home, watching too many sitcoms, and it's taken me a long time to unlearn much of it. I still struggle, and it didn't do me any favors in school, especially. You get used to being the funny sarcastic one at home, and then in school you get to be the funny sarcastic one...in detention!</div>
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ITA!!<br><br>
We, obviously, find our daughter completely adorable (because she is ours) but I can't stand rude behavior. Cute or not. There is too much disrespect and sarcasm in our culture anyway and my hope is to curb that as much as possible. What is friendly talk in one context is rude and hurtful in another and most small children don't have the capability to discern the difference.<br><br>
I have been working with the almost 3 year old that I watch on two things. If she bumps into you or you bump into her (inevitable when 2 toddlers are following you everywhere you go) she says "Watch where you're going!" in a very rude tone and the other one she says is "okay" but it is the way she says it. If you ask her to do something she says "okaaaaaaay" the way a teenager would say it after the umpteenth time of telling them to clean their room or something. I'm sure her parents think it is cute but I don't. Just the same as they probably wouldn't think it was funny when my daughter told them "you have a big mommy butt!" LOL
 

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I have to giggle at the stories... but I am dealing with a 5 year old that is like this as well. Unfortunately for him people don't find it cute anymore. I really tried to help him to correct it earlier, but it seems to be somthing he will have to figure out on his own.
 

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My dd is two TODAY and while not sarcastic (yet), she can be very demanding and rude in her speech. "I want juice RIGHT NOW," said with hands on hips. Right now is one of her favorite expressions. I find it really annoying and I try to redirect her to ask more politely, but partially because of her age I don't treat it as as rude as it would be if she were older, kwim? (Frequently when I redirect her she'll reply, "Well, I want juice <i>right now</i>. PLEASE.") I cringe when I hear her speak like that in front of other people, because I know they must think we are teaching her by example but we really are not. We are really not sarcastic or demanding at home, nor does she watch tv or movies in which that is modeled. She's come up with it all on her own.....
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Terabith</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7967676"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My dd is two TODAY and while not sarcastic (yet), she can be very demanding and rude in her speech. "I want juice RIGHT NOW," said with hands on hips. Right now is one of her favorite expressions. I find it really annoying and I try to redirect her to ask more politely, but partially because of her age I don't treat it as as rude as it would be if she were older, kwim? (Frequently when I redirect her she'll reply, "Well, I want juice <i>right now</i>. PLEASE.") I cringe when I hear her speak like that in front of other people, because I know they must think we are teaching her by example but we really are not. We are really not sarcastic or demanding at home, nor does she watch tv or movies in which that is modeled. She's come up with it all on her own.....</div>
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Well, <i>I</i> would still treat it as "rude" no matter how old she is, but it is more understandable. You know? Like hitting - hitting isn't OK no matter how old you are, but it's understandable. Some children hit, even when they haven't seen it modelled, they come up with it on their own. But still needs to be addressed and redirected, or else they think this is the way to get things, or that it's alright to speak in a condescending tone to others when you want something. My husband and I have both worked in the service industry, and the stories he tells about precocious kids with snotty words, the parents laughing...it's a big part of why we teach politeness and empathy.<br><br>
I would model the tone of voice I'd like to hear (calm, clear) and/or show her how her current tone sounds (you could even play with this, play "the mean-talking family" or "the whining family.") Or play-act it with stuffed animals, and how the mom feels sad when the kid talks in the mean voice, or the kid feels sad when the mom speaks in this voice. Or among friends. It just takes time, and consistency - i.e. getting water when the voice asking for it is respectful and clear.<br><br>
Kids try out lots of voices over the preschool years, bring home new "skills" from their friends, and it just takes time to redirect and help them gain social skills that are conducive to making and keeping friends.
 

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My kids are sarcastic at times. Doesn't bother me in the least bit. I want them to use their words & express themselves freely. That said, I DO see a difference between sarcasm & rudeness. They are NOT rude. And, yes, sarcasm CAN be rude, but not always.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rmzbm</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7990711"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That said, I DO see a difference between sarcasm & rudeness. They are NOT rude. And, yes, sarcasm CAN be rude, but not always.</div>
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I agree with this. It's hard for me to give written examples of what dd says and get the tone and inflection correct. I do not tolerate rudeness or snotty behavior. I have a low threshold of tolerance for that.<br><br>
I grew up in a home that didn't allow for humor in many senses. I grew up taking myself very seriously not necessarily understanding sarcasm and how it could be used to <i>gently</i> lighten situations that didn't call for a full fledged confrontation.
 

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I think sarcasm is pretty much always rude. Some of the examples above aren't sarcasm, imo, but are examples of little kids trying on tones and attitudes they've heard or seen. "Right now" is typical 2 year old lack of patience and egocentrism.<br><br>
I'm a reformed (reforming?) sarcastic person. I was oh, so very clever and got lots of laughs and kudos for my wit and clever tongue. I also left a lot of people feeling crummy and I've decided the cleverer side of wit that doesn't have to take something or someone down with it is my preferred route. DD knows the difference between sarcasm and facetiousness and is clear about the difference in tone and intent. I think the term "shut up" is very belittling and silencing and we also don't use it. None of these speech patterns are going to enhance anyone's success or win them good friends or adult admirers.<br><br>
When either of my children speaks with a tone or turn of phrase I don't appreciate, I calmly let them know why I don't like it if it's new, or offer them a "rewind" if they already know it's objectionable. I also try to model the way I'd like to be spoken to. If they're verbally precocious, they can quickly learn other ways to express themselves <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> .<br><br><br>
From dictionary.com<br>
Sarcasm:<br>
1. harsh or bitter derision or irony.<br>
2. a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark: a review full of sarcasms.<br><br><br>
Facetious:<br>
1. not meant to be taken seriously or literally: a facetious remark.<br>
2. amusing; humorous.<br>
3. lacking serious intent; concerned with something nonessential, amusing, or frivolous: a facetious person.
 

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I agree with joensally's description of sarcasm vs. facetiousness, although specifically sarcasm is closely related to irony - it's communicating the opposite effect through intonation than the words themselves appear to convey. It's very possible to encourage a fun, playful, funny home without resorting to sarcasm. It is hard to tell tone or intent on the Internet, so I suppose it's just something each family has to determine for themselves as to what's what - but I don't see any examples here of what I'd call actual sarcasm. If it were sarcasm in the OP, she'd be saying, "It's REAL FUN to be waiting on that drink, MA."<br><br>
Maybe it could be like how some families allow their child to play with a toy gun- ok if you play with it, but for goodness sake, don't point it at people!<br><br>
Sincerely,<br>
The Comptroller of Comedy
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>flyingspaghettimama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7995486"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I agree with joensally's description of sarcasm vs. facetiousness, although specifically sarcasm is closely related to irony - it's communicating the opposite effect through intonation than the words themselves appear to convey. It's very possible to encourage a fun, playful, funny home without resorting to sarcasm. It is hard to tell tone or intent on the Internet, so I suppose it's just something each family has to determine for themselves as to what's what - but I don't see any examples here of what I'd call actual sarcasm. If it were sarcasm in the OP, she'd be saying, "It's REAL FUN to be waiting on that drink, MA."<br><br>
Maybe it could be like how some families allow their child to play with a toy gun- ok if you play with it, but for goodness sake, don't point it at people!<br><br>
Sincerely,<br>
The Comptroller of Comedy</div>
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Yes, sarcasm often includes the use of irony - with a cutting edge. Saying the opposite of what's meant, with some "du-uh!!" mixed in. That's rude, imo. Unless you're actually doing stand up or a roast. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Re-reading many of the examples, I wonder if some of it's not sarcasm or even rudeness, just kids plain speaking. As adults, we imbue it with tones and nuances that just aren't picked up by the kids or the kids are just uncritically mimicking. I frequently have another 4 year old for playdates and she's just started to get lippie (mine were mouthy and oppositional from very young, lol). I was really taken aback the first few times at what I heard as a rude tone or approach, but I've realized that for her she's just learning new ways of expressing herself and is frequently entirely unaware of the impact of her tone.
 
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